Blue carbon, the carbon soaked up and locked away by marine habitats, represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for marine conservation and restoration.
Each of the major blue carbon habitats, currently recognised as mangroves, seagrass and saltmarsh, provide nurseries for marine life and extraordinary benefits to the communities that live alongside them. Each habitat is also, sadly, in severe decline.
When coastal wetlands are damaged or degraded they capture less carbon and release significant amounts of greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – that might have been stored for thousands of years. As such, the degradation of a third of global blue carbon ecosystems over the last 50-to-100 years has led to large scale emissions.
Governments can include blue carbon in national greenhouse gas inventories, and companies may be able to invest in blue carbon solutions at a scale much greater than philanthropic donations to marine conservation.
The publication of this Blue Carbon Report, authored by Blue Marine Foundation and University of Exeter with the generous support of DP World, aims to explore the global scale and opportunity for blue carbon habitats to act as a climate change solution, the benefits that this will provide and the consequences of degradation.
It considers the opportunities represented by the better acknowledged and understood blue carbon habitats in the United Kingdom (mangroves are present in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories), and it looks at more innovative forms of blue carbon such as macroalgae and sediment, both of which are research priorities that have been overlooked by science until recently.
The report examines the potential for blue carbon projects within UK waters and explore the emerging blue carbon market with the potential for such models to develop in the United Kingdom, while highlighting some potential projects and pitfalls that must be avoided.
Posted On: 10/03/2022